Having sheep means you experience new life and unfortunately death

March 3rd, 2015

Our ram lamb Caddy Shack didn’t make it , he was a month old and was not  yet chewing cub(regurgitating  hay and chewing). He may have had a defect in his stomachs and was unable to utilize the hay he had eaten. But it makes me very sad and this winter weather and cold hasn’t helped me or the lambs.

Orphanannie's first full day in the barn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Orphanannie’s first full day in the barn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liberty and her ram lamb Sparrow

Liberty and her ram lamb Sparrow










But there is good news! Our newest ram lamb Sparrow is getting fat and bouncy and Orphanannie is now in the barn full time! She has bonded with our ewe Salsa and her ram lamb Spots ,so she has someone to sleep with.  I am also happy to announce that as of tomorrow Sparrow will be on the same feeding schedule as Orphanannie……only 4 feeding’s a day! But starting  Thursday Orphanannie will be moving to a 3 times a day feeding schedule as she is old enough(and fat enough).

This has been a tough lambing year………….and I am not done yet…….

March 1st, 2015
Caddy Shack in the warming box,with heated bean bags under him and on top of him.

Caddy Shack in the warming box,with heated bean bags under him and on top of him.

Right now my first born lamb is in the house as he has not been doing well. He was getting cold and constipated,so we brought him in to warm him up and give him a warm soapy water enema which he didn’t like and not much has happened. We are not sure if he has been getting enough milk from his mother,but he refuses the bottle and is already eating some hay. We shall see,if he does make it back to the barn he will need to wear a fleece coat to help him stay warm.  I took him out of the warming box or should I say he jumped out of the warming box and ran around the kitchen before I could catch him. Right now he is crated with Orphanannie and is sleeping. If he isn’t better by tomorrow I will have to take him to the vet as I am running out of tricks to get him feeling better.

The sun is out and we have figured out who Orphanannie’s mother is

February 22nd, 2015
Orphanannie and  Aleppo

Orphanannie and Aleppo

I took Orphanannie out to the barn this morning  and checked on Snoopy and Sneaky(she was born yesterday). The sun was just coming out after our little snow storm last night and it is a lovely day so all the animals are relaxing enjoying the sun. I needed to check ear tags to update my files to give to the state vet as we had lost lambs and ewes to coyotes this fall and some ewes to old age.

Can you see the resemblance between Cymbals lamb from last year and Orphanannie?

Can you see the resemblance between Cymbals lamb from last year and Orphanannie?







As I was checking my ewe picture ID and noticed that our brown ewe Cymbal’s ram lamb from last year looked just like Orphanannie and Cymbal had been pregnant,but it was hard to check her  due to her heavy felted coat. We tried to get a shearer out here in the spring but I have so few animals to shear, that I couldn’t get anyone to come out.  Maybe this spring I can get all 6 ewes  completely shorn…any takers ?

It snowed again….giving us a nice white icing….and Orphanannie got a new coat

February 19th, 2015
snow ,snow everywhere

snow ,snow everywhere

I woke up to more that the dusting of snow that was predicted. But it wasn’t hard to clean up and the sun has been out and helped things to melt.

Orphanannie chewing on a ewes mats hanging off the coat

Orphanannie chewing on hair mats hanging off the Ewes coat








Today Orphanannie is out in the barn in her little orange coat, hassling the other lambs and chewing on any sheep or goat who doesn’t push her away. It is warm today and I am hoping that I can leave her out for 3 or 4 hours and  she will find a ewe or another lamb to hang out with.

Well it snowed over 14 inches and some drifts are 4ft……

February 16th, 2015
recipe from the 1999 edition of Family circle favorite recipes

recipe from the 1999 edition of Family circle favorite recipes

We went last night to our neighbors for a dinner of lamb shanks,mashed potatoes and broccoli. I brought a sweet cream cake with whipped cream filling mixed with our latest creation “chocolate cherry preserves”. Our neighbors have been kind enough to lend us their snow blower so we can get our parking pad clean this morning ,this is a god send,we are so lucky to have such awesome neighbors!

Lambing season has begun!!!!!!!

February 9th, 2015
Orpahannie  is wrapped in heated bean bags

Orpahannie is wrapped in heated bean bags


Orphanannie is in a bigger basket and only one bean bag

This is Orphanannie we found her this morning trapped behind a fence crying and no mother in sight. She must have been born around 3 this morning,she was clean and dry but was getting cold. We looked to see if a ewe was interested in her,but there were no takers, so now she is inside in this box with heated bean bags around her and she is due for more colostrum in an hour.

That was at 8am this morning and it is 4pm and she has eaten again,gotten licked by our boy dog Cooper and is only using one heated bean bag in a lined laundry basket….so things are improving! But she won’t go back into the barn till tomorrow morning and run with the flock. I am hoping to find which ewe is her mother. But we shall see.

Orphanannie sleeping peacefully.

Orphanannie sleeping peacefully.

I need your help with my experiement….

January 22nd, 2015
Cocktail Tomatoes from Backyard Farms  in Maine

Cocktail Tomatoes from Backyard Farms in Maine

I am conducting an experiment to utilize the frozen local tomatoes in my freezer during the bleak mid winter.
If you liked the Bruchetta in a jar please taste:
– Winter Salsa- Bruchetta style
– Winter Bruchetta in a jar
These products are slightly different as they are not made from summer local tomatoes and have some different ingredients.
Please let us know what you think!

At the Weare & Contoocook Farmers Markets 4oz jars are available for many of the jellies,jams & marmalades. Come on down to the farmers markets and taste what we have to offer!

What to do with a pork shoulder for New Years Eve or anytime-updated

January 7th, 2015

posolePosole is the answer! It is a pork stew with hominy and can be hot or not. My husband and I first had Posole in Albuquerque New Mexico while visiting my best friend at Christmas time  close to 20 years ago. It can be soupy or more like a stew. You can use turkey,beef or lamb when making Posole and it can be made with red chili or green chili/Tomatillo.

It is best to braise the meat a day before and then put together the rest of the soup or stew. I have found a variety of recipes and they are all different. The condiments we serve with the Posole are cilantro,sour cream,red onion and lime wedges ,but you can add anything you want. Since it was New Years Eve we had Pomegranate-Ginger champagne cocktails using Fre Brut (alcohol removed Champagne) producing a slightly sweet and tart drink that went well with the Posole. Try it sometime I think you’ll like it!


Making Two Marmalades

December 10th, 2014
Sol Zest Mandarin Jewel Marmalade day 1

Sol Zest Mandarin Jewel
Marmalade day 1

This Morning I will process two marmalades using Clementine Cuties (from California and is made with Pomona pectin) & Sol zest Mandarin Jewels  . It is difficult to stay with local ingredients when you are making a citrus based marmalade, but I try to buy from orchards in Florida that picked only when the fruit is really ripe. The Jewels are the cross between the Temple Orange and the  Dancy Tangerine, thin-skinned, easy to peel, and virtually seedless. The taste difference between the two marmalades is that the Sol Zest has more of the bitter taste found in European marmalades .

grinding cranberries for cranberry orange relish

grinding cranberries for cranberry orange relish

I have all the ingredients ready to make cranberry orange relish which involves grinding the cranberries and the oranges are put through the food processor. Once the two ingredients are processed you need to squeeze out the excess liquid which give the relish it’s crunchy fresh texture.

Since the beginning of the canning season (middle of August) I have used 1,243 jars ,mostly 8 ounce and I still have 500 new jars on my shelves in the basement. This time of the canning season  I am not canning everyday or all day. This gives me time to do things like cleaning……….wrapping gifts …..cook ahead for the holidays, finish my holiday cards , wasting time playing Yahtzee on the computer and writing this blog. Back to Yahtzee!

I am very thankful for my neighbors and my mother in law……

November 30th, 2014
Thanksgiving Brioche with cranberries and crystalized ginger.

Thanksgiving Brioche with cranberries and crystallized ginger.

We lost power on Wednesday at 4pm and got our power back around 4pm on Thanksgiving day. We were lucky that we got our power back so quickly. We

Thanks Arthur Mountain for growing such a delicious turkey

Thanks Arthur Mountain for growing such a delicious turkey

are also blessed with awesome neighbors who had a generator and we cooked the 1/2 turkey on their grill. My mother in law was a trooper with the cold and lack of running water at our house. She stayed cheerful and was bundled up like the Michelin man, but she never complained. We did get our wood stove going, but we didn’t have much wood as we normally don’t use the stove. We tend to keep our house pretty cold, but we raised the heat to 63 and when we had power my mother in laws room had an oil heater to keep her toasty.

The snow was so heavy it was difficult to shovel and again our neighbors came to our rescue and lent us their extra snow blower, which made clean up easier. Despite the power outage we had a great thanksgiving thanks to the kindness of our neighbors and the positive attitude of my mother in law.

Out in the field on Thanksgiving morning

Out in the field on Thanksgiving morning